West End playground coming down to protect children, fight crime - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

West End playground coming down to protect children, fight crime

(PHOTO: Cincinnati Police Department/Provided) (PHOTO: Cincinnati Police Department/Provided)
(PHOTO: Cincinnati Police Department/Provided) (PHOTO: Cincinnati Police Department/Provided)
(PHOTO: Cincinnati Police Department/Provided) (PHOTO: Cincinnati Police Department/Provided)
(PHOTO: Cincinnati Police Department/Provided) (PHOTO: Cincinnati Police Department/Provided)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Community leaders are saying "no more" to a West End park surrounded by crime.

On Tuesday at the West End Community Council meeting, citizens and leaders voted to send a letter to the city to tear down the tot lot park and playground on Linn Street so kids are no longer around drugs and violence.

"Most people hear "tot lot," they think of crime.  We want to move away from that, said Keith Blake, president of the West End Community Council.

A few weeks ago, police investigated a shooting right next to the park at Livingston and Linn streets.  Its just one of many that have happened close to the playground.

According to numbers from the Cincinnati Police Department provided to those at Tuesdays meeting, 72 shootings have happened within 1,000 feet of the park since 2010.

"It really wasn't a safe place for children,
Blake told FOX19 NOW.

Police say the violence isnt the only reason to clear out the park.

In pictures also distributed at the meeting by police, people far too old to play in a playground can be seen.  Police say they have problems with people hanging out and drinking and doing drugs, even in broad daylight.

"Taking it away from the drug dealers, taking it away from the people that hang there daily with drinking and selling drugs, taking that out of their hands, moving that location to a green space, will better this community, said Capt. Lisa Davis with the Cincinnati Police Department.

To do that, community members voted to send a letter to the citys recreation commission to take out the playground equipment.

"They're going to remove the playground equipment and transition it to green space, Blake said.

The hiding spots for guns and drugs will be ripped out, and a fence will be added.  The kids who were supposed to be able to play there will move to a new playground a few blocks away for a safer place to play. 

The recreation commission has already promised to take the equipment down along with the concrete barrier thats in the back.  Were already on the right track to improving this neighborhood, said Capt. Davis.

The new playground is about two blocks away from the tot lot.  It was built as part of All-Star Week festivities over the summer.

"The majority of the people that live here, and any of the 52 neighborhoods in the city, are good, decent citizens who want to feel safe in their homes, and the West End deserves that, Capt. Davis told FOX19 NOW.

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